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Today's Smart Brevity count: tk words, ~tk-minute read.
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Less than a decade after Amazon broke into the logistics industry, it has become its own biggest shipper, Erica writes.
While the world has fixated on Amazon's moves into books, groceries and cloud computing, perhaps most formidable of all has been the e-commerce giant's swift break into a much more lucrative business — package shipping.
In a dataset provided first to Axios, Rakuten Intelligence followed tracking numbers for millions of Amazon packages per month.
The total domestic package market in 2018 was about $106 billion. Of that, $35–$40 billion, or about a third, was e-commerce, according to David Vernon, an analyst at Bernstein.
In a statement to Axios, Amazon said, “The numbers are not an accurate representation of how Amazon shipments are shared between Amazon and our carrier partners.”
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
As Amazon becomes a shipping juggernaut in its own right, experts say it will attack two different sets of rivals — retailers and shippers, Erica writes.
"We're now talking about a retailer that will control the entire process" from manufacturing to delivery, says Mark Rosenbaum, a professor at the University of South Carolina.
But, but, but: While Amazon's suddenly large profile might look menacing, it won't necessarily move as it did in books to knock out its rivals, says Yossi Sheffi, director of MIT's Center for Transportation and Logistics. "They just want to take all the profitable routes and operations and leave the carriers with all the dogs.”
The bottom line: Amazon's march into shipping is the company's "classic model of partner with, copy, and unseat their competitors," says Jaimee Minney, an analyst with Rakuten Intelligence.
Go deeper: The race to own logistics
Photo: Fox Photos/Getty
"I don’t know how old you are, so I’m assuming you’re under 30 (I’m 82). Yes, I’m an old fart and proud of it because I was there during the beginning of this connected experience called the internet. No one ever imagined we might reach the point where Google steals your information and then sells it multiple times over to whomever will pay for it. No harm? Maybe not, but do you know who bought your information? Were they a reputable company/person, and do they really have a legitimate reason to have your information? Could it end up in hands of those you may prefer, if you knew, not to have it? Further, how much money has Google made from selling our private information?
I am eager for the time when Google, et al, will be required to inform us. And when we/you find out, maybe you’ll be more interested why you’re getting this 'free shit.'"
"You wrote, “Only 23% of Prime members live in rural areas, and the most active buyers are 22–39 years old.”
"That is a particularly interesting data point as only 19.3% of the U.S. population lives in rural areas. Combined, these facts point to the counterintuitive reality that rural households are actually more likely to be Prime members than urban households. But this should actually make a lot of sense. E-commerce services provide rural households with the same massive shelf of products that used to only be available to those in the most densely populated cities and the potential lifestyle impact is greatest in rural areas. This is another signpost of how technology and service innovation will facilitate accelerating migration away from traditional urban cores."
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Photo: Jose Castanares/AFP/Getty
Already pricy avocados look to keep getting more expensive, thanks to a small avocado crop in California and President Trump's will-he-won't-he tariff threats on Mexico, Kaveh writes.
Prices in Mexico City have already reached record levels at 650 pesos (about $34) for a 10-kilogram box, write Michael Hirtzer and Andrea Navarro for Bloomberg.
Bonus: For those of you reading from Mars, Bloomberg describes avocados as a "dark-green fatty fruit, featured on nearly half of U.S. menus and used in everything from toast to tacos and salads."
Thanks for reading!